Fast-rising musician Baba Harare, real name Braveman Chizvino Mawanza, who had a stuttering solo career start following his departure from Jah Prayzah’s Third Generation band, is carving his own niche with convincing productions and live acts.
By Takemore Mazuruse
“Starting is not easy, but I am glad I have weathered the storm and the results are beginning to show,” Baba Harare said.
“Music lovers are warming up to my art and the feedback is amazing.
“If you follow the number of views my music videos are generating on YouTube and the numbers at my shows, you can easily tell that my career has taken a positive curve.”
The energetic performer, born at Mashoko Mission in Bikita, Masvingo, is a gifted guitarist and vocalist whose artistry charmed many during his dalliance with his high-riding former boss, Jah Prayzah.
That purple patch seems to have returned to Baba Harare’s blossoming solo career and his recent performance at Club Joy Centre in Highfield is confirmation he has come of age.
“In my early days I would get joint performance gigs, but I am happy that I am now able to hold my own for an all-night show,” he said.
Baba Harare’s recent performance at Club Joy Centre in particular was captivating and even the usually unforgiving and demanding crowd at the popular joint could not resist him.
Music promoter and Club Joy Centre proprietor David Mudzudzu said Baba Harare was fast proving his mettle as demonstrated by his convincing performances.
“Early on in his solo career, we would pair him with other seasoned artistes like Progress Chipfumo, but we are now happy with his pedigree and the fans cannot have enough of him,” Mudzudzu said.
The last born in a family of seven, Baba Harare started learning how to play the guitar when he was in Grade Seven.
“I am self-taught and much of my guitar skills are a result of passion and persistent learning. As for singing, we did much in church,” he said.
As fate would have it, Baba Harare was fortunate to work with a sungura outfit that helped shape his career and sound.
“I worked with Madzibaba Shekede and Sigma Boys whose beat was sungura. I strongly believe that stint helped shape my music career and gave me stage confidence and presence,” he said.
On motivation and the desire to stay on top of his game, Baba Harare said he was grateful to God for inspiration.
“God drives me and motivates me. “There is no easy walk to the top, but with God nothing is impossible,” he said.
“I always believed I would go far with my music career even when I was a small boy and I am certain I am poised for the top,” he said.
The versatile musician, however, bemoaned the state of the economy which he said worked against progression of the music industry.
“If the economy stabilises, everything else will work out, including the music industry. We have faith and we strongly believe the future is bright,” he said.
Baba Harare works with a full-time backing group — City Vibration Band — which he said he was happy with.
“I work with a full-time band and we are happy with the support from promoters and corporates. We are performing every now and then including midweek and we promise to always deliver when engaged,” he said.
The lanky musician, who is inspired by Chipfumo and the late Lucky Dube, also said he was grateful for the stint he had with Jah Prayzah.
“Working with Jah Prayzah was one of my career highs and I learnt a lot from him, professionalism included. “We would tour far and wide and that has given me a sense of direction. The future is bright, especially now that I am able to determine how my career should progress,” he said.
Baba Harare has two albums to his name. The debut is Chikwama Changu, which marked his solo career. However, it is the second album, Minamato yaRasta, that gave him his break with songs like The Reason Why, Banana and Usasiya Zvinonaka (Guzuzu) receiving favourable airplay.